Willpower is like a muscle that depletes when it is exercised. Similarly, our ability to make high quality decisions becomes fatigued over time. The more decisions you make, the lower quality they become — the weaker your willpower.
Consequently, you need to do the hard stuff first thing in the morning. The important stuff.
If you don’t, it simply will not get done. By the end of your day, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll be fried. There will be a million reasons to just start tomorrow. And you will start tomorrow — which is never.
So your mantra becomes: The worst comes first. Do that thing you’ve been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow.
If you take just one step toward your big goals every day, you’ll realize those goals weren’t really far away.
(1) Not sure that “the worst” should come first. Surely it should be the most important task to hit your long term goals?
(2) Re. “The more decisions you make, the lower quality they become” — Cf. Limiting decision fatigue.
(3) The core advice here is to think about your goals and start your day by being proactive, not reactive. Cf. If you want to get more done, stop doing these things.
(4) Because the ability to focus and block out distractions is so fundamental to startups’ success, I’ve broken out a new category for Focus vs. Distractions. You can find it in the list of Best Practices for Startups.